Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw Blend Chardonnay

Charles Shaw WinesPrice: $3
Maker: Charles Shaw Winery, Napa County, California
Varietal: Chardonnay
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Alcohol: 12.5%
Our Rating: 8 out of 10

Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw Blend Chardonnay (aka Two Buck Chuck) has a nice pear aroma, and flavor notes of pear and oak. It was medium bodied, and had good clarity. We’re not regular Chardonnay tasters, but this one was better than its $3 price tag would suggest.

Based on this wine, along with today’s tasting of the low-priced Golden Gate Pinot Grigio, it seems that it’s easier to turn out a decent cheap white than a good but really cheap red. We haven’t had much luck with low-priced reds from Charles Shaw, Crane Lake, and similar brands. The Charles Shaw Chardonnay, though, could be passed off as a wine that might sell for $5, if not $10. Opinions on this wine vary, but trend to the positive. The Sydey Morning Herald commented, “The cheapie chardonnay (christened early in the tasting as “Two-Buck Chuck”) wasn’t awful. While it didn’t really taste like a chardonnay, it certainly didn’t taste like rocket fuel. ” And Wine Sediments lists some kudos for the Charles Shaw Chardonnay, noting that it outscored far more costly wines in various competitions. Unspun thinks it’s “decent”, noting, “If you’re stuck drinking cheap wines, the nice thing is that it goes down fairly smooth — definitely smoother than a Vendage! — and doesn’t have an aftertaste that lingers beyond what you’d want.”

19 thoughts on “Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw Blend Chardonnay

  1. Box Wine Guy Post author

    Umm, we don’t ship anywhere, we just drink the stuff and tell everyone what we think. :)

    As far as I know, you can only buy Charles Shaw at Trader Joe’s. If Kentucky allows mail order shipments, you can try hunting around for a source. Keep in mind that by the time you pay to ship a $3 wine, you’ll be in the price range of plenty of other decent (and probably better) wines.

    Reply
  2. Doris Livezey

    On the TV news the other night they said that in a wine competition Two Buck Chuck Chardonnay 2005 beat out all the others and took the top prize. I’m trying to find that in writing somewhere but don’t see it. I don’t remember what news I was watching.

    Do you know where I can find something? By the way, we pay $2 for Two Buck Chuck in San Jose.

    Reply
  3. Ryan Nealis

    It was on ABS nightly news with Charles Gibson 5 minutes ago… Try their website. Hope that helps.

    Reply
  4. angelica reyna

    My husband and I are interested in purchasing your wine. However, we have never ordered on line. Im sure sale may not be available one line due to alcohol laws. However can we give you a buisness contact that may sell your wine?
    Thanks

    Reply
  5. Roger Post author

    Angelica, we don’t make the wine, or even sell it – we just drink the stuff and, sometimes, report our findings. As far as I know, Charles Shaw wines are only available in Trader Joe’s retail stores.

    Reply
  6. Pat Swinderman

    I live in PA and can’t find the Chardonnay anywhere. Can I order it from you? If so what are the requirements? Thanks.

    Pat Swinderman

    Reply
  7. Roger Post author

    Pat, we don’t sell the wine, and as far as I know it’s available only in Trader Joe’s retail outlets. You just don’t see much interest in selling $2-$3 wine by mail order. Wine bottles are heavy and breakable. By the time you pack it and ship it, that $3 bottle may be a $10 bottle. And, if you want to spend $10, you can probably visit any local shop and get a much better wine. Most of the $3 wines you’ll find are just not very good. I can see where the high opinions of Charles Shaw Chardonnay might generate interest, though.

    Reply
  8. Jacky

    Just curious, what do you recommend having this wine with? Any types of food? I’m not much of a wine drinking but want to really try the Chardonnay. Any recommendations help. Thanks.

    Jacky~

    Reply
  9. Roger Post author

    Chardonnay traditionally goes with lighter fare like fish or chicken, but when it’s in the 90s like it is right now, I like a chilled, crisp Chardonnay just for sipping.

    Reply
  10. Chuck C

    Hi, I have a question I’d appreciate help with. In 2003 from an SF Trader Joe’s, I purchased a case of Two-Buck Chuck (Charles Shaw) Merlot 2002 and have stored the last few bottles in my wine rack in my kitchen ever since, here in Central FL. Would it be drinkable still or just it be poured out? Thanks

    Reply
  11. Roger Post author

    These wines are designed to be consumed more or less immediately, but an extra year or two of storage might not hurt too much. The only way to know is to open the bottle and see if you like it. If you do, great! If not, you are only out a few bucks if you dump it. I wouldn’t serve that one when the boss comes over for dinner, though. ;)

    Reply
  12. melanie

    I totally took for granted the fact that such a wonderful and price-friendly wine was so readily available when I lived in Huntington Beach, CA. I moved a bit more than a year ago out to VA, and I must tell you it would be a great idea if Trader Joe’s were over on this side of the country : )

    Reply
  13. Suzanne Afterkirk

    I’m looking into having a friend of mine bring my brothers boat over to Colorado and bring a case or two with him. We love the wine. Can’t wait for the arrival. Just purchased a wine tree to hold one case. So better order a couple! Thanks to Chuck we have a winner.

    Reply
  14. William Murphree

    We live near Columbus, GA. Where can we purchase Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw Blend? We can no longer get it a Lewis Jones Food Store.

    Thank you

    Reply
  15. Amy

    My husband and I live in TN. We just traveled to Atlanta, GA, and bought 3 cases of two buck Chuck. One White Zin, Chardonnay, and Cab. We love the stuff and it provides us with an excuse for a weekend getaway without the kids.

    Reply

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